Magic from the Attic

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Create's February Challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to find an old photo – your property, please – and use it to build a Guide Entry, an essay, a poem, or a story. We'd love to see lots of these at the Post. Just send us your material, and a copy of your photo.

To get you started, we're reprinting one of the Editor's recent journal entries. May it prove inspirational.

(And don't anybody get started on me about that book business again. I've heard it all.)

Magic from the Attic

This is my great-aunt Griselda when she was a little girl. She works for Weight Watchers now.

There's a lot of loose talk around this site, to the effect that:

  1. Paper books are better than digital books, and people who 'like the feel and smell of REAL paper' are somehow more virtuous than those of us who are happy reading on a computer screen. (I worry about that smell part, I think it's an addiction...)
  2. On the other hand, digital photography is MUCH superior to analogue photography, because it's:
    • a. Easier. (Trained monkeys...) and
    • b. Trendier. (What? You don't own a...?)

Now, I'll ignore the book business for right now, and concentrate on the photography. Here's a photographer/history buff who can demonstrate exactly what an analogue photograph can do that a digital one can't.

Oh, and if you click on that link, you can see some cool photos. They were taken during the Great War, almost a century ago. But nobody had seen them.

You see, they were still in the camera. Until our blogger bought the camera in an antique store. He found the plates inside the camera, and printed them out. Talk about voices from the past.

Here's an old airplane, wrecked. Here are soldiers. Here's a French village. Here's a bomb, for pity's sake. Wow.

Our blogger explains why that wouldn't have happened with your digital thingamabob. But the chemicals and light had done their magic, and there it is... One image is a stereoscope. (Oh, yeah, I know about that computer imaging that produces 3D – yawn...)

This fellow is busy collecting primary-source history. Go here if you want to see some of his collection from an amazing trip someone took through the Russian Revolution.

Some magnified text.

Now, we're really grateful for the digital revolution. After all, it is thanks to that revolution that we can now see these great photos. They can be stored in our electronic archives. But think about it: if somebody hadn't exposed some film to some light about a century ago, we wouldn't have had these images to store. I'm grateful for old technology, and the camera-toting pioneers who used it.

Create's challenge for February is to find your own lost or stored photos – whether analogue or digital, whether hanging on the wall or on your hard drive, whether you took them with an Instamatic or a stereoscope – and use them as inspiration. We'd love to see these gems, and read about them.

Remember, our gmail address is postteamhg-at-gmail-dot-com.

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

28.01.13 Front Page

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